One Night, Two Bands!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By

Toni Ni­cholas

On Tues­day Fe­bru­ary 10, 2015 two car­ni­val mas bands here in Saint Lu­cia en­ticed the me­dia, car­ni­val or­ga­niz­ers and their cor­po­rate part­ners as to their di­rec­tion for Saint Lu­cia’s car­ni­val 2015 which starts in earnest to­wards the end of May and concludes with the cli­matic Mon­day and Tues­day street pa­rade and jump-up this year July 20 and 21.

Over the years the car­ni­val bands have be­come an in­te­gral part of car­ni­val stag­ing ma­jor events dur­ing the fes­ti­val. The role played by the ma­jor car­ni­val bands has now stretched be­yond the Mon­day and Tues­day mas and now en­velops the en­tire car­ni­val spec­trum. As such, band launches are now ma­jor high­lights on the an­nual car­ni­val cal­en­dar, to the point where the first band off the block, Just 4 Fun, cre­ated much so­cial me­dia frenzy when, in an un­prece­dented move, it launched its full por­trayal and cos­tumes with a mas­sive event at the Gai­ety on Jan­uary 31.

Two weeks later and two more bands have launched - with lesser fan­fare but still with as much con­vic­tion and pas­sion - their por­tray­als for 2015.

The two bands on show Tues­day evening were Toxik Na­tion at Bay Gar­dens Beach Re­sort and RED Un­lim­ited at San­dals Grande. For their launch, Toxik’s brand am­bas­sador Chrys­tal Oc­tave re­flected on the band’s chal­lenges in 2014 apol­o­gis­ing to those af­fected by a cos­tume dis­tri­bu­tion mishap. Toxik will also be work­ing to­wards at­tract­ing Saint Lu­cians in the di­as­pora as well as Do­mini­cans in a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Kairi FM.

So­nia Sif­flet on Tues­day com­mended Toxik for reach­ing out to the other is­lands. “When a band can reach out to our sis­ter is­lands to come here, it re­ally augers well for the car­ni­val prod­uct,” Sif­flet said.

The manager of Bay Gar­dens Berthia Parle spoke Tues­day of the mar­riage be­tween car­ni­val and tourism. “We are in­deed thrilled to sup­port the growth and devel­op­ment of Saint Lu­cian cul­ture and the young peo­ple in par­tic­u­lar … and this is why we are pleased once again to part­ner with Toxik Car­ni­val band,” Parle said.

Min­is­ter of Tourism and Cre­ative In­dus­tries, Lorne Theophilus noted dur­ing his pre­sen­ta­tion his plea­sure at the strides made by the band. He went on to state that he was very proud of Toxik Na­tion. “So I want to congratulate you for al­ways launch­ing early and I am go­ing to ask you, along with the other bands on the is­land to pre­pare your­self, be­cause we are hav­ing an early launch of car­ni­val,” Theophilus said.

Toxik gave at­ten­dees a taste of their por­trayal for 2015 with the un­veil­ing of two cos­tumes from “Vogue.”

Later that evening, RED un­veiled their 2015 theme and logo. At the event the now for­mer band­leader Thad­deus An­toine an­nounced that the ba­ton was be­ing passed to a young group of band mem­bers to carry on the band’s vi­sion. He then called on all par­ties to trans­fer the same level of sup­port to the new lead­er­ship ask­ing the me­dia to “be nice and en­cour­age the team.” The new band leader is Trevor King.

Stacy Git­tens, be­fore in­tro­duc­ing the theme and cos­tumes for 2015 stated that car­ni­val meant more than just pretty cos­tumes. “It is about the ex­pe­ri­ence and qual­ity of mas that you give, not just to our rev­el­ers, but to the spec­ta­tors,” she said.

For 2015 RED Un­lim­ited will be por­tray­ing “Yin Yang - Bal­ance n Har­mony.” Two cos­tumes were un­veiled from the sec­tions “Pri­mal In­stincts” and “Lion Heart.” Both RED Un­lim­ited and Toxik Na­tion will soon an­nounce the dates for their public launch and other ac­tiv­i­ties lead­ing up to car­ni­val.

For car­ni­val 2015 Toxik Na­tion goes Vogue.

(photo Bill Mort­ley )

Thad­deus An­toine (cen­ter) with two beau­ties wear­ing cos­tumes from RED Un­lim­ited’s 2015 portryal.

(photo Bill Mort­ley)

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